AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIORS (HITTING, KICKING OR BITING) SHOULD BE ACTED UPON THE FIRST TIME AND EVERY TIME. THEY NEED TO KNOW THESE BEHAVIORS ARE ALWAYS OFF LIMITS. OTHER BEHAVIORS CAN BE GIVEN ONE WARNING.
NEVER YELL OR SCREAM! (DO NOT LET THEM SEE THAT THEY ARE GETTING TO YOU)
LOWER YOUR VOICE, TALK FIRMLY, HAVE A STERN LOOK ON YOUR FACE! THEY NEED TO KNOW THAT YOU MEAN BUSINESS! FIRMLY STATE! NO! YOU DON’T HIT. HITTING HURTS! NO ONE LIKES TO BE HIT!
IMMEDIATELY CARRY HIM/HER FROM BEHIND TO THE TIME OUT CHAIR FACING THE CORNER AND STATE, “NOW STAY HER TILL THE TIMER GOES OFF.” One minute for every year of age, less is fine, more is not, because they forget why they are there. If you have to, hold them there till the timer goes off. Do not let them off! They need to know that you are in control and you are not going to give in. WHEN THE TIMER GOES OFF THEY CAN GET OUT OF TIME OUT.
IGNORE ANYTHING THEY SAY WHILE IN TIME OUT AND SAY NOTHING TO THEM ABOUT WHY THEY ARE IN TIME OUT. This technique is great; because you can use it anywhere, in the store or at friends, limit it to 1 minute. No yelling, but they need to know this behavior is off-limits no matter where you are.
NEXT (and this is the most important part of timeout) GET THEM INVOLVED IN SOME ACTIVITY THAT YOU CAN IMMEDIATELY PRAISE THEM FOR (coloring, drawing, scribbling, making something, etc). REMEMBER PRAISE NEEDS TO BE SPECIFIC. “I REALLY LIKE THAT PICTURE YOU ARE DRAWING, TELL ME ABOUT IT”. STILL SAY NOTHING ABOUT WHY YOU PUT THEM IN TIME OUT.
LATER (15-30 min) WHEN THEY ARE HAPPY, YOU CAN BRING UP WHY YOU PUT THEM IN TIME OUT. “Remember when mommy put you in time out for hitting, hitting is wrong, it hurts, you wouldn’t want me to hit you”. It is only when they are happy that you can have a influence their thought process that you can build on.
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